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Local teenager helps to reduce traffic-related deaths

Joseph Longoria
Posted at 4:17 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 06:49:02-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28% of traffic-related deaths in Corpus Christi involved a speeding driver. Now, city officials and one local teenager are teaming up to reduce that number.

“He’s a very conscientious student, very thoughtful student so we weren’t surprised when he put a project like this together,” said Jaime Gonzalez, a teacher at W.B. Ray High School.

This project Joseph Longoria initiated asks pedestrians to simply grab a fluorescent flag and hold it in front of them while crossing a busy street. Once safely across the street, they can place the flag in a holder. This idea is one Longoria first saw on a family trip.

“On a family trip to Salt Lake City, we saw flag crossings all over and I thought it would be great to have that here in Corpus," Longoria said.

So, he got to work, reaching out for help to get this program started.

“We asked CCISD police chief Kirby Warnke if he could have the school district crossing guards pick up and put out the flags before and after school," Longoria said. "He said yes."

Longoria says it makes him happy to see the flags being used in the mornings as students make their way to school or as they make their way home.

“It can keep kids safe and maybe save a life,” he said.

Joseph, who donated 500 flags to pilot the program, also worked with city traffic engineers to identify several locations to demonstrate the project.

Flags are available for safe crossing at the following elementary schools: Gloria Hicks, Berlanga, Kostoryz, Fannin and Crockett. These locations are manned by crossing guards who will distribute and collect the flags on school days.